Whether you think going out on New Year’s Eve is too much hassle, forgot to book a table or just love staying in, cooking at home is a quiet, but no less special way to see in the new year.
As you’ll save on a restaurant meal, drinks, taxis and more, you can justify splashing out on premium ingredients, whether that’s a platter of oysters or the best cheeseboard money can buy. After all, 31 December is a night to treat yourself.
We’ve rounded up our most luxurious, indulgent and memorable meals to serve up on New Year’s Eve – we’re talking feasts that are so good, they’re worth staying in to enjoy.
Read on to discover our celebration recipes for dining before the clock strikes midnight. Whether you’re having a date night dinner or feeding a dinner party crowd, our ideas will provide plenty of inspiration.
The best New Year’s Eve dinner ideas
This is a true dinner party classic, and we have plenty of wellington inspiration if you’re planning to make one for New Year’s Eve. There’s the basic beef version, as well as twists such as pork, veggie, vegan and sausage in our ultimate wellington collection. And yes, the sausage version is essentially a giant sausage roll, a dish we’ll always welcome with open arms.
Silky pasta with fresh steamed shellfish makes a great meal for two, and is quick to make, so you’ll have more time to enjoy yourself. Ask your fishmonger for advice on what’s in season in December – expect clams, oysters and mussels – and pair your pasta with a wine, like a bright white with mineral notes to complement the seafood.
Baked camembert pie
Even after several weeks of Christmas cheeseboards, we don’t tire of eating cheese. If you’re the same, serve up a melty, gooey cheese dish on New Year’s Eve. The beauty of baking camembert until dippable is that you’ll simply need to pop it in the oven and slice a baguette – there’s hardly any other prep work to do. If you’re feeling ambitious, wrap it in pastry and make our epic camembert pie, complete with a side of fresh winter coleslaw.
Beef short ribs
A joint of slow-cooked meat makes an impressive centrepiece when entertaining. Our roast beef recipes include a classic, showstopping bone-in rib joint and prosciutto-wrapped fillet, but if you fancy shaking it up, try serving beef short ribs. This thriftier cut is slow-cooked until tender, then served with dripping carrots and fancy gravy.
Curry is the perfect one-pot meal to cook for a special night in, as it can be easily scaled up or down depending on the size of your crowd. Our comprehensive collection of curry recipes includes regional Indian dishes, vegan satay curry and comforting dhal. Our choice for New Year’s Eve is this epic Old Delhi-style butter chicken, because any dish that involves ghee and cream is truly worthy of celebration.
Ham is a popular choice at Christmastime, but it can be enjoyed for almost any special occasion. Our sticky gammon recipe is a cross between a traditional festive ham and pulled pork, so it’s an ideal sharing dish for a crowd. Serve with buns or rice, plus a sweet pineapple chutney to cut through the rich glazed meat.
Lobster mac & cheese
It’s almost impossible to improve on a classic macaroni cheese, but the relatively neutral base makes it perfect for adding some interesting, flavourful ingredients. On New Year’s Eve, try a luxurious version made with lobster tails – nobody needs to know they came from the freezer aisle. For more inspiration, browse our macaroni cheese collection for more traditional versions, plus a vegan mac.
Whole roast cauliflower
Cauliflower is a versatile ingredient that soaks up plenty of flavour. Spanish chef Jose Pizzaro takes it to another level with a creamy anchovy sauce served with buttery cauliflower leaves. For a veggie version, try our whole roast cauliflower with red wine & grains. Serve with a selection of colourful winter salads or tapas sides.
Shallot tarte tatin
Turn humble shallots into something worthy of a French bistro with this recipe. It uses a classic caramel technique, but is finished with savoury cheese and thyme. If you’re cooking for vegetarians, be sure to choose a goat’s cheese that is veggie-friendly. If you’re planning a cosy night in, ramp up the indulgence factor by serving this with another French delicacy, potato dauphinoise. It’s comfort food at its very best.
Lamb shoulder is made for entertaining, as most of the prep is done in advance – a low oven simply cooks the meat slowly while you get on with other things. Rosie Birkett’s lamb shoulder recipe uses a shallot, anchovy and multi-herb marinade, and is served with a lemony gremolata for freshness. If you have any leftovers, serve Rosie’s lamb shoulder & smoky aubergine flatbreads on New Year’s Day for a take on Turkish lahmacun, a dish that takes the concept of pizza to a whole new stratosphere.
Go meat-free and make our vegan-friendly butternut squash ‘steaks’. This recipe uses seasonal ingredients, including robust chestnuts and leafy cavolo nero, plus warm cumin and cinnamon to ramp up the flavour. Dairy-free coconut yogurt adds coolness and contrast to finish. This dish looks extra-special, but is an absolute cinch to put together.
Stuffed bolognese pasta bake
This BBC Good Food magazine cover star caused a stir with readers and social media fans, and for good reason. It combines bolognese sauce with a pasta bake, and the results are magic. The pasta shells are stuffed with a mascarpone and mozzarella mixture to give the dish a deliciously cheesy element, as every good pasta bake should have. The whole family will enjoy this one, too.
More New Year’s Eve inspiration…
New Year’s Eve menu plan
Alternative wellington recipes for NYE
The best ever New Year’s Eve party food
Top 10 New Year’s Eve cocktails
Cocktail recipes and tips
10 gin and tonics with a twist
10 party canapés you can make ahead
How will you be celebrating on 31 December? Leave a comment below…